Saturday, August 23, 2008

Addon authors wanted for WAR

One really smart decision that Mythic made was to use the LUA programming language for their interface addons. If you weren’t aware, LUA is the language that Blizzard uses to program the UI in WoW. If you are moderately familiar with editing or writing LUA scripts and XML files for World of Warcraft, the syntax and many standard LUA commands will continue to be familiar in Warhammer Online.

I’ve never mentioned it on the blog before, but I have written a few addons myself. For example, I wrote CharmsFu, ChatAlertsFu, Cartographer: Quicknotes and a quest helper called Wowhead Quests which inspired Cladhaire to right a much better and more popular version called LightHeaded.

I’ll freely admit that I’m not the best at keeping my addons up-to-date, which is why I don’t really think of myself as an “Addon Author” even though I have written several. I don't make addons for glory, I simply make them for my own benefit so that the game is more enjoyable FOR ME. I write them to make my life easier and if it happens to be easy to make it available to others, I’ll share it.

I’ve also written several “personal” addons that I never released for various reasons. In some cases, I just wanted something a lot more lightweight and basic than what existed elsewhere (simplicity over feature). But most often, it was simply something a bit more complex than I wanted to document or support.

Releasing an addon is a responsibility and if you’re not willing to support it, then I don’t recommend releasing it. It’s not a welcome feeling to get trashed on because you didn’t write your addon to work with another addon that happened to be written poorly – particularly when you’re not being paid for it.

I’m moderately interested in being part of the addon community for Warhammer, but it’s that last point that your efforts evoke complaints rather than praise that holds me back a bit. I’m undecided at the moment. I’m sure I’ll release some things, but just that which I feel will require minimal support.

In any event, what IS a very worthy cause is helping to document the Warhammer API. To put it simply, the LUA language is the basic building block and the commands (or API) for LUA is very well documented and understood. However, what Warhammer adds to the LUA language in the form of commands is NOT well understood at the moment by the addon community. An example here of a Warhammer specific command would be changing key bindings or determining the health of your target. In order to produce quality addons, authors need to know what these commands DO.

Even if you are a fledgling programmer, you can help document the API at The War Wiki and review this page about how you can help: How to document the API

If you are interested in learning what WAR addons are currently in development, I suggest taking a look at the to see which projects have already been started. There is also a developer forum community on CurseForge located here if you want to ask questions / make suggestions.

No comments: